I'd like to place this installment's focus on the "community-based enterprise". Here's why. Throughout time, people have been "community-builders". People are wired to organize, associate and develop codes of conduct. People constantly build communities, albeit on-line, across borders, in neighborhoods, schools, houses of worship and other centers where people congregate.
The hand-writing is inked on the wall that internet-based consumerism is not only here to stay, but will grow into something that one-day may put consumers directly in touch with manufacturing shops and disintermediating the retailer or intermediary all together. The best economic equation will eventually be created by maker and buyer and retailers will be transformed into state-of-the-art communicators and marketers, hence community-builders. Great brands are created by community-builders.
The fundamental benefits of internet-based consumerism are time and choice. A consumer can canvas multiple "shops" for an item, compare prices and acquire the item(s) of choice in less time than it takes to go into a town, park and walk through shops with unknown risk of not finding the items of choice. This kind of "time-sink" is a deterrent to all people struggling to eek out more time in the day, but especially to millenials who have been reared on electronic points of contact.
While utilitarian thinking may win the day's activities, the main reason to support community-based enterprises is to build the case to create and affirm the supply of experiences that can't be had at the PC: socialization, perspective, passion and variety. Keeping funds within a community supports the micro-economy of the place where you live, work and/or worship. It will ensure that local needs will be met locally rather than be sourced miles away and inaccessible when needed in a pinch.
If funds do not continue to flow inside communities, lifestyles will change so dramatically and pan-human social culture will dwindle and exist only in pre-existing social networks. What then happens if those pre-existing social networks no longer are the source for personal growth and fulfillment?
It is a bit of the chicken and egg dilemma: Community-based enterprises need to create market demand for a variety of experiences to draw people into communities and offer people something different from an internet-based experience. Simultaneously, people need to consume those experiences to keep them financially viable and available.
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